Amgen To Acquire Celgene’s Psoriasis Drug Otezla for $13.4 Billion

Amgen has agreed to acquire worldwide rights to Celgene’s psoriasis drug, Otezla (apremilast), for $13.4 billion in cash in connection with Celgene’s pending $74-billion merger with Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS). BMS had previously announced (June 2019) the planned divestiture of Otezla in connection with the ongoing regulatory approval process of its pending merger by the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

Amgen says it will acquire worldwide rights to Otezla and certain related assets and liabilities for $13.4 billion in cash or approximately $11.2 billion, net of the present value of $2.2 billion in anticipated future cash tax benefits. Total product revenue for Otezla in 2018 was $1.6 billion. The agreement includes the transfer of Celgene employees primarily dedicated to Otezla. 

Otezla is currently approved for the treatment of patients with moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis who are candidates for phototherapy or systemic therapy; adult patients with active psoriatic arthritis; and adult patients with oral ulcers associated with Behçet’s disease. Otezla is approved in more than 50 markets outside the US, including the European Union and Japan, and has patent exclusivity through at least 2028 in the US.

Amgen currently has a product in the chronic inflammatory diseases therapeutic category, Enbrel (etanercept), a biological medicine marketed by Amgen in the US and Canada to treat several chronic inflammatory diseases, including moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. Amgen says Otezla would be complementary to Enbrel.

Amgen says the closing of the acquisition is contingent upon BMS entering into a consent decree with the FTC in connection with the pending Celgene merger, the closing of said pending merger with Celgene and the satisfaction of other customary closing conditions. Amgen expects the transaction to close by the end of 2019.

Bristol-Myers Squibb now expects its pending merger with Celgene to close by the end of 2019.

Source: Amgen, BMS

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